Hikers stranded at 12,200 feet prompt large-scale search in Colorado’s mountains

File photo. A Flight for Life helicopter prepares to insert members of CCSAR-N on Mount Belford. Photo Credit: Chaffee County Search and Rescue North via Facebook

A 20-year-old hiker had a close call on Sunday when he found himself injured, alone, and out of food and water on Mount Sopris Trail near Carbondale, Colorado. 

Mount Sopris trail is around 12.9 miles long, reaching a maximum elevation of 12,965 feet. Popular website Alltrails.com rates the hike as difficult due to steep and rocky conditions. 

The hiker that required rescue slipped on loose rock on the trail and injured his right hip, leaving him unable to get back to his vehicle, a news release from the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office said. 

At this point, the hiker was out of food and water and only had about 25 percent battery life left on his phone. 

At around 4:18 PM, he contacted Pitkin County emergency services for assistance. 

The Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) search and rescue team 'rapid' responded to the call with a CareFlight helicopter, because of the unknown medical severity of the situation, the release said. 

A ten-person MRA response team went into the field as well to help find the hiker. 

The helicopter landed on Mount Sopris at around 5:30 PM and crews located the hiker within the hour. 

Upon evaluation, the crew found that the hiker's injuries were minimal and transported him by helicopter back to his car on Highway 133. 

"The Pitkin County Sheriff's Office and Mountain Rescue Aspen would like to remind all visitors and hikers to be aware of their skills, abilities, and physical conditions," the release said. 

Though this situation was resolved, it is important to always be prepared for emergencies while in the mountains. Remember to always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. Also, pack appropriately for potential injuries and pay attention to weather forecasts before hitting the trail.  

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